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Economy Economy

Take a more proactive approach to transparency and misuse of trusts

Last updated: 08:07pm 13 November 2019

We will take a more proactive approach to transparency and misuse of trusts.

Conservative Party Manifesto 2017, p.16

Our verdict

In 2013, the then government began consultations on transparency and trust around company ownership. This was to increase openness about who owns UK-based companies, thus tackling tax evasion, money laundering and the financing of terrorism. Also, it was hoped enhanced transparency would make doing business easier and increase trust in British companies, promoting investment and growth. Significant concerns persist, however, about the misuse of corporate entities and the filing of false information at Companies House. This policy is a promise to take a more proactive approach to transparency and misuse of trusts.

From May to August 2019, the government held consultations on Corporate transparency and register reform, considering more proactive measures to increase transparency, including increasing checks to verify identities, requiring additional information from companies, and  improving co-operation and data sharing between Companies House and UK law enforcement agencies. The feedback is currently being analysed.

The consultation is evidence of movement towards corporate transparency reform with an increased role for government. The feedback is still being analysed and the government’s term of office has come to an end. The promised proactive approach may emerge from this process, but it will not happen under this government, so the status of ‘in progress’ will be as far as this policy gets.

Take a proactive approach to the facts!

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